In support of our journey to make Harvard Business Publishing a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture where everyone belongs and thrives, we launched our formal DIB awareness and development program in February 2021. The program focuses on education, which is one of several pillars that will enable us to reach our vision for Harvard Business Publishing’s culture. The other pillars of our strategy include engagement, measurement, and communications.
We started by establishing a baseline across the organization in the spring of 2021 with our Foundations of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging program. This program, which all employees were required to attend, was customized for our organization and reflected our DIB goals. It covered the following:
Given the critical importance of the program, it has since been integrated into our onboarding experience. All new employees participate in the program within their first 90 days.
With this shared language and insight into our role in creating a diverse and inclusive workplace culture at HBP, the next step was to help employees make an impact through daily actions and behaviors. To develop this capability, we hired an external firm to offer two programs—one designed for employees to equip them with knowledge and skills to contribute to an inclusive culture where people from all backgrounds can thrive; and one designed for managers and leaders to equip them with skills to build and sustain an inclusive culture through influence, establishment of inclusive norms, and driving equitable outcomes. All employees are required to participate in these sessions.
While we are still in the early stages of education, the programs have made a significant impact to date. Over 50% of our employees have been engaged in the sessions and open to sharing their perspectives, which is a critical first step in raising awareness. We’ve received positive feedback and employees say they have found the sessions inspiring and energizing.
Our awareness and development efforts have helped open a dialogue around what it means to be a truly diverse and inclusive workplace.